A Rendezvous with Wolves

Posted by Friends|30 July 2014

Wolf Rendezvous

 

Danica Swenson is Oregon Wild’s summer Wildlife Intern. She’s also a student at Lewis and Clark Law School, studying Animal and Environmental law. When she’s not reading for school or work, she’s out adventuring or volunteering at a local wildlife rehabilitation center. She was exposed to the issues surrounding endangered species at an early age from growing up in Hawaii, which has one of the highest amounts of endangered native species listed federally. She’s passionate about educating others on animal and environmental issues, which is reflected in her work. 

 

This June, Oregon Wild hosted its 5th Annual Wolf Rendezvous sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs! As Oregon Wild’s Wildlife Intern, I was lucky enough to tag along and help out. In light of recent news of OR-7 pups and a new pack on Mt. Emily, there was a lot of wolf buzz surrounding our trip. The purpose of this yearly trip is to educate the public on wolf recovery in Oregon, the positive impacts wolves can have on an ecosystem, and the big challenges wolves face in communities driven by ranching.

We started the weekend with a short hike led by Wally Sykes and a presentation by Jim Akenson, recent Executive Director of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, about the natural history of wolves and other predators. This gave the group a solid foundation of wolf knowledge that we built on later that night around the campfire with a more in-depth discussion of wolves. The hike with Wally only hinted at the beautiful landscapes we would see in the next few days.

Jim Akenson spent many years living in remote wilderness in Idaho studying native carnivores, so he was a treasure trove of information. He also brought a box full of amazing predator skulls and bones, which we all ogled at and guessed who was who!

 

Wolf Rendezvous

 

First stop the next day was to meet with Russ Morgan, the Wolf Program Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He discussed the biology surrounding wolf recovery, the complications he sees first hand in the ranching community, and put his hand in a wolf trap as a demonstration. A huge issue in wolf recovery is predation on livestock and the most fascinating piece of information I learned is how he tells the difference between an animal killed by a bear, cougar, or wolf. (That’s important for ODFW to do because ranchers are compensated for predation by wolves!) His job is most likely one of the most difficult at ODFW, balancing the need for wolf conservation and the ranching communities’ interests.

After meeting with Russ Morgan, we went on a hike near wolf territory. No wolf sightings then, but we found a couple wolf tracks and scat! I had no idea how huge wolf tracks are. I grew up with a husky/malamute mix so I thought I knew what big paw prints look like, but these are giant! With Wally leading the way, we were careful to steer clear of where the wolves have denned in recent years. We were dismayed to see a large herd of cattle roaming through these public lands, not far from where wolves have been documented. It seemed odd to me that a rancher (who most likely had knowledge of the wolves’ prior habitat area) would place his free range herd so close to where wolves with potential pups could be living.

On Saturday, we had more to think about in the form of two different perspectives on the landscapes there. First we had an excursion into the Zumwalt prairie with Ralph Anderson, who worked for the Forest Service for many years. He showed us locations that the Nez Perce, the local Native American tribe, used to use for food scavenging. They would tap Ponderosa Pines for its pitch, which was used for medicinal purposes. We even tasted some of the wild onion and edible flowers that grow there!

Perhaps one of the highlights of the trip was the sighting of a potential wolf!! We were driving through the Zumwalt praire when we saw a herd of elk coming over a hill, running at full speed. We stopped the van and watched them jump over fences, cross the road, and head up the opposite hills. We weren’t sure what was chasing it until one of the attendees spotted some kind of canid. This big dog was just tracking the herd, not actively chasing it. Right now our group is split on whether it was a wolf or coyote, with the majority going for wolf. Based on the dog’s behaviors and it’s physical appearance (rounded ears, boxy face, dark fur, etc.) I’m going with wolf. Coyotes tend to be smaller with lighter fur and long, pointy noses. What do you think??

 

Wolf Rendezvous

 

Later that day the group met with a rancher who has personally experienced livestock losses from wolf predation. Hearing this perspective of the wolf discussion was crucial to ensuring our participants understand the entire issue. It wouldn’t be fair if we held an entire weekend dedicated to wolves without hearing anything from the other side. While many of us disagreed with the rancher on multiple points, we were all very impressed with how much this rancher cares about his cows and their livelihood. It also deepened our understanding of what these ranchers deal with when it comes to wolves returning to their native landscape. It seemed that to most of the attendees, this was one of the most important narratives that we heard. Some felt that we didn’t ask hard enough questions, but I think it’s better that we start the dialogue slow. It’s crucial to have open lines of communication between the conservation side and the ranchers’ side, so it’s best to be respectful in these beginning stages of cooperation and exchanges.

I was so impressed with the insight and thoughtfulness that our attendees brought. Everyone came from different backgrounds and levels of wolf knowledge, but we all came together and had some great, thought provoking conversations about the dilemmas surrounding wolf recovery in Oregon. Almost all of the attendees voiced some kind of concern regarding the potential de-listing of wolves from the Endangered Species Act, which is a possibility in 2015 — a sentiment that Oregon Wild shares as well.

I would venture to say that the 2014 Wolf Rendezvous was a success. We heard voices from almost every perspective of the wolf recovery issue, saw a potential wolf, found tracks, and enjoyed the company of other wildlife advocates in one of the most beautiful spots in Oregon. I learned so much and I’m excited to share this experience with all of you through this post and my photos!

Please contact Oregon Wild if you have questions about the Rendezvous!
Check out Mountain Rose Herb’s ad in support of wolves & Oregon Wild!

 

Wolf Rendezvous

 

New! Small White Sage Bundles

Posted by Christine|28 July 2014

small-sage-bundle

White Sage has been used for centuries as incense and in smudge pots for ceremonial use. This flowering perennial is native to the Southwest United States. Its tall woody stems and tiny white flowers love dry, arid slopes with lots of sun, and flourish in the rocky heights of the southwestern canyons.

Now Available!

Small White Sage Bundles

These smaller bundles are the perfect size for home use and smaller ceremonies. They are approximately 4 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick at the burning end. They are bundled with the stems together, providing a handle for easy use, and come in a 4 pack.

We’re so excited to offer these convenient bundles!

 

 

The Sunday Steep

Posted by Kori|27 July 2014

 

While I love my morning cup of coffee, there are times when I really want to shake it up. Whether I’m craving something a bit less stimulating, or yearning for some different flavor combinations, green teas can be a wonderful choice. One of my favorites is our Jasmine Green Tea. It is relatively mild and reminds me a bit of the tea I drink at Lotus Garden, a vegan Chinese restaurant here in Eugene. For extra zip, I like to balance the floral flavors with a little fruity orange peel and spicy ginger…

Blue Cast Iron Tea Pot from Mountain Rose Herbs

Ginger Jasmine Green Tea

2 Tablespoons organic Jasmine Green Tea

1 teaspoon organic Orange Peel, dried

1 teaspoon organic Ginger Root, dried

Combine all the herbs into an infuser, strainer, bag, etc. and add 2 cups boiling water. Allow to steep for 4-5 minutes. – See more at: http://mountainroseblog.com/#sthash.ppucwMtr.dpuf

Combine the tea with the orange and ginger in a nest strainer or infuser. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 3-4 minutes. This recipe makes enough for one cup of tea, but feel free to adjust for a pot or more. This is also good with dried lemon peel, a little honey for sweetness, or leave out the extra ingredients all together and just try the Jasmine Green Tea for an invigorating cup of tea!

 

sundaysteep

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Alieta|24 July 2014

Mountain Rose Herbs - Photo Thursday!

 

We were filled with joy to support the annual Women’s Healing Conference. This year, we donated herbal goodies to the Pampering Oasis where attendees enjoyed showers of floral goodness with our organic hydrosols. The Women’s Healing Conference is a three day herb retreat held in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, combining celebration and healing!

 

 

Revitalizing Solid Perfume Recipe

Posted by Alieta|22 July 2014

Mountain Rose Herbs - Revitalizing Solid Perfume Recipe

 

Feeling burned-out or lacking energy from all your fun summer adventures? Well, it isn’t over yet!

The last push of summer is coming, and with it opportunities to seek out long lost friends and enjoy every bit of the sun as it fades into fall and loved ones go into hibernation. Maybe you need something just a little extra sweet to keep you going? Thankfully, pure plant aromatics are here to lift us up.

Just like stopping to smell the flowers, wearing fragrances you love can help boost your mood and keep energy up. Here’s a wonderful solid perfume recipe to excite the senses and stabilize your exhausted emotions. Simply apply a bit on the neck and pulse points to enjoy. Super easy to make and totally customizable, this harmonizing solid aroma balm is perfect for your summer fun. Feel free to formulate your own scent combination and check out some of our past posts for inspiration!

 

Revitalizing Solid Perfume

 

Balm Base Recipe

1 ½ cup organic Almond oil

1/2 cup organic Grapeseed oil

1 tsp Vitamin E oil

½ cup beeswax pastilles

 

Revitalizing Solid Perfume Aroma Blend

60 drops organic Lemon essential oil

25 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil

22 drops organic Cinnamon Leaf essential oil

22 drops organic Rosemary essential oil

 

*Cinnamon Bark essential oil is very strong and may cause irritation if using on the skin. I went with Cinnamon Leaf essential oil to avoid potential irritation. All essential oils are highly concentrated, so please use and craft with care!

 

Directions:

  1. In a double boiler (Pyrex is easiest), melt the beeswax pastilles into your carrier oil mix.
  2. Once completely melted, remove from heat and add Essential Oils and Vitamin E Oil
  3. Stir and pour into 1 oz containers. You can also find beautiful lockets at thrift stores to use instead of tins. These make sweet gifts and are fun to wear!
  4. Allow to cool on a safe shelf, away from pets and children.

 

Cinnamon: The smell of cinnamon invigorates the senses, relaxes tension, and calms nerves. For this recipe, using Cinnamon leaf oil is important, as cinnamon bark oil can cause irritation to the skin.

Eucalyptus: Known for increasing energy and balancing emotions, good for soothing away stress.

Lemon: An uplifting citrus scent! Lemon is balancing and is helpful for making clear decisions and for emotional purging.

Rosemary: Stimulates memory, confidence, perception, and creativity. Helpful for balancing mind and body. Uplifts the mood and helps you remember good dreams!

 

Mountain Rose Herbs - Revitalizing Solid Perfume

Have fun!

 

The Sunday Steep

Posted by Kori|20 July 2014

junipers

 

While I have lived all of my adult life in cities and towns, I spent the first eighteen years of my life on the side of a mountain surrounded by forests, creeks, and lakes. The smell of evergreen trees and beloved oaks never fails to bring on nostalgic memories of a rather active and adventurous childhood roaming hillsides, chasing rabbits, capturing bullfrogs, and reading books about far away places while lounging in one of our rickety tree houses.

Perhaps this is why I’ve always loved the flavors and scents of the forest. Baking on cedar planks, cool spring water infused with fir tips, and crushed juniper berries for hearty winter meals make me smile. Teas created with bark, leaves, and berries make some of the most satisfying and healthy infusions.  I have various versions of what I call “Tree Teas” (play on the better known “Tea Tree” intended) and here is a good one for these long, warm days of summer…

 

firtips

Under the Tree Tea Recipe

1 teaspoon organic Linden leaf and flower

2-3 Cedar or Fir leaf tips (fresh or dried)*

1 teaspoon organic Hawthorn leaf and flower

1 teaspoon organic Juniper Berries

This recipe makes enough for 2+ cups of tea, depending on how strong you like it. Feel free to adjust the ratio to taste. The flavors can be strong and this isn’t really meant as an everyday tea. Combine all the herbs into an infuser, strainer, bag, etc. and add 2 cups boiling water. Allow to steep for 4-5 minutes. This is also good as an infusion with cold water. You could put the herbs into one of our Tea-to-Go glass infusers or a Mason jar and allow to infuse for a half hour or so before giving it a taste.

sundaysteep

 

 

Precautions: There are a few precautions to consider with these ingredients. Do not drink linden flower teas within 2 hours of taking any vitamin and mineral supplement, since the mucilage in the tea can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from the supplement. Cedar tips and juniper berries should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast feeding, and juniper berries should be used in moderation and should not be used by anyone who has inflammation of the kidneys.

*Make sure the cedar or fir tips are pesticide free and ethically wild-harvested.

New Cracked Black Peppercorn!

Posted by Christine|18 July 2014

 

black_pepper_crackedWe have some exciting news for those of you who like your black pepper a little on the coarse side…

 

New Cracked Black Peppercorn!

 

Our organic Cracked Black Pepper is a little larger in size than the organic Black Pepper Ground that we offer, and measures roughly to a 30-40 US mesh size. This makes it the perfect size for rubs and salad dressings.

Peppercorns are the fruit of Piper nigrum, an evergreen climbing vine. Black, white, and green peppercorns all come from the same plant, but they are harvested at different times and handled in different ways. To make black pepper, the clusters are plucked shortly before they ripen and are left in piles to ferment. After a few days, the berries are spread out on a mat and left to dry in the sun for two or three more days where they shrivel and blacken. This process takes quite a lot of care and precision to produce one of the world’s most treasured spices.

Visit our website to see our full line of whole and ground peppercorns!

 

piper_nigrum

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Alieta|17 July 2014

Mountain Rose Herbs - Photo Thursday!

 

Last month the Great Plains Nature Center held a free public event called Outdoor Kansas Kids (OK Kids). The event focused on encouraging children to be active and involved in nature.  The theme for this year’s event was Blast from the Past.  Activities focused on the natural world and included bird house building, all natural herb tie-dying projects, pioneer-era crafts, archery, and animal displays.

We were very happy to have the opportunity to donate organic Turmeric Root Powder, Parsley Leaf, and Madder Root for the natural tie-dying activity. Pictured above is one of the participants displaying his newly herbal dyed t-shirt. How fun is that? Thanks to Friends of Great Plains Nature Center for inviting us to be a part of this day of creative learning!

 

Managing Stormwater Runoff for River Health

Posted by Alyssa|16 July 2014

Stormwater Management

 

Last November, Mountain Rose Herbs was recognized as the first Eugene business to become Salmon Safe certified! Along with businesses, Salmon Safe helps farms, vineyards, campuses, developers, and parks transform land management practices to protect Pacific salmon. The team of experts evaluated our current practices and praised us for being on the right track. They also gave recommendations for how to improve, and we’re taking their advice!

In the spring, we reached out to the Long Tom Watershed Council, a local non-profit devoted to improving water quality in our watershed. On a hot day in July, it felt like 97 degrees in the sun, but that didn’t stop us from walking the parameter of our campus, slogging through the bio-swale, and taking plant and sediment samples. Sarah Whitney, Interim Project Manager for LTWC, educated us about best practices and overall goals of storm water management.

“Managing stormwater as close to the source as possible helps to mimic pre-construction (if not natural) conditions of the site, allowing the water to be slowed, cooled, and cleaned before entering the ground water or streams. On a typical site, stormwater flows over parking lots, roofs and garbage areas, picking up pollutants before entering a stormdrain which pipes the water directly to streams bringing pollution and scouring the banks.”

 

Mountain Rose Herbs - Sustainability

 

Our campus is sandwiched between sensitive wetlands and the Amazon canal which flow into the Long Tom River, a tributary of the Willamette River, one of the most important waterways in Oregon. That is one reason we feel so strongly that it is our responsibility to care for on-site water runoff and refuse to landscape with pesticides.

Sarah continues, “To mitigate these impacts you must create an area for stormwater from these hardscape areas to flow through vegetation and soil before entering a storm drain. These areas can often be sized so that no water overflows from the site in a typical rain event, instead allowing the water to be up taken by plants and to flow down, recharging the aquifer. The best plants for these areas are wetland plants, so additional pockets of habitats are created that provide food and shelter for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.”

Sarah and the team also helped us assess and prioritize projects. Potential projects include: planting native Bigleaf Maples to provide shade and habitat, installing a rain garden to manage parking lot runoff, cleaning out our bio-swale and retention pond, and building a green roof above our recycling area. Exciting things to come!

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability!

 

Mountain Rose Herbs - Sustainability

Photo credit: Ephraim Payne, Long Tom Watershed Council

Homemade Bitters: Cacao & Dandelion

Posted by Alieta|14 July 2014

Mountain Rose Herbs - Dandelion & Cacao Bitters Recipe

 

Sweet, sour, salty, umami, and everyone’s favorite flavor - bitter! Does the word bitter get you salivating?  Chances are it does, since it’s the duty of this flavor to get digestion going. Most people try to avoid this important taste, but bitters are necessary for helping us maintain wellness. If you just can’t do bitter greens, ease into a relationship with bitter using my favorite recipe – Cacao & Dandelion Digestive Bitters! Chocolaty with a bitter punch, this is a great place to start.

There are a number of aromatic and bitter herbs that are great for making a tincture like this including gentian, grapefruit peel, quassia bark, and cardamom, just to name a few.  You can make appetite stimulating bitters out of one herb at a time or blend flavorful herbs together to make a personal concoction to add to your daily health routine. My recipe today calls for two classy companions, Dandelion and Cacao.

You can enjoy bitters in cocktails or straight on the tongue whenever you’d like, but especially before or after a meal.  Your bitter receptors and digestive prowess will thank you!

 

Dandelion and Cacao Bitters

2 TBSP organic roasted Cacao Nibs

2 TBSP organic Dandelion Root

40% or higher proof vodka

Your herb to alcohol ratio should be about 1:3

Fill one half pint jar 1/4-1/3 of the way full with your herb combination. For my recipe, I used equal parts cacao and dandelion, although I could have done more dandelion for more bitter flavor or more cacao for more cacao flavor. Once your herb is in the jar, you can cover with alcohol. Fill the jar to the very top and shake well. Allow to extract for two weeks and then strain through cheesecloth. Keep in a glass dropper bottle for convenience. Enjoy!

 

Mountain Rose Herbs - Dandelion and Cacao Bitters Recipe

 

 

 

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

- See more at: http://mountainroseblog.com/dandy-tummy-bitters-recipe/#sthash.n9rqWJap.dpuf

 

 

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

- See more at: http://mountainroseblog.com/dandy-tummy-bitters-recipe/#sthash.n9rqWJap.dpuf

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

- See more at: http://mountainroseblog.com/dandy-tummy-bitters-recipe/#sthash.n9rqWJap.dpuf

The Sunday Steep

Posted by Kori|13 July 2014

syrup

 

I recently returned from vacation travels (which included several plane flights) to find I’d come down with a doozy of a bug, just in time for warm weather and opportunities for summer fun. Summer sicknesses are the worst! Between the snuffles and the lingering hack, I knew my body needed some rest, recovery, and tea. This recipe includes my favorite go-to herbs for nourishing a sickly me…

 

suntea

Summer Sniffles Tea

2 Tablespoons organic Slippery Elm Bark

2 Tablespoons organic Marshmallow Root or organic Marshmallow Leaf

1 Tablespoon organic dried Elderberries

1 Tablespoon organic Red Clover Blossoms

raw, organic honey

This recipe makes about 3-4 cups of tea or infusion. I like to make it in my Tea-to-Go glass tea infuser to take along with me, but you could also make it up in a Mason jar or other large mug. Put all the herbs in the container and cover with 3 cups or so of boiling water.  You can also make this up and let it infuse overnight, if you’d like a stronger decoction. While battling my cold, I made a big half-gallon jar full and then “decanted” it as I needed it. Stir in the honey to taste.

sundaysteep

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Alieta|10 July 2014

Mountain Rose Herbs - Photo Thursday!

 

We discovered some blooming Alliums across the street today and this adorable little bee was hard at work! We are endlessly grateful for these celebrated little bugs. Without them, we would have a far less appetizing and colorful plate and our herbs wouldn’t be so happy, we wouldn’t have delicious honey for seasonal support, nor would we have beeswax for nourishing and protecting our skin!

If you are working on establishing or maintaining a bee-friendly environment in your neighborhood, read the Gardeners Beware Report by Friends of the Earth and Beyond Toxics here and check out our Pesticide-Free Garden Sign!

 

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Meet Us

  • ErinErin (344)
    Erin is the Marketing Director at Mountain Rose and studied herbalism, botany, and ethical wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days making botanical illustrations, playing in the garden, creating culinary gems, and formulating medicine in the magnificent Oregon Cascades.
    ChristineChristine (129)
    Christine is our Product Manager here at Mountain Rose Herbs and our Certified Aromatherapist on staff. She's a longtime Mountain Roser with nearly a decade under her belt and assists with selecting new and exciting herbal and herb-related products. She also makes sure our current products are the best they can be!
    KoriKori (53)
    Kori is our Public and Media Relations Coordinator! A West Coast native, Kori is a seasoned nonprofit activist and community organizer. Having launched six adult kids, she spends her free time in her burgeoning organic and very urban “farm”—taming Heritage chickens, building top-bar beehives from reclaimed materials, baking, brewing, and preserving.
    IreneIrene (53)
    Irene Wolansky is the Customer Experience Director at Mountain Rose Herbs. Born and raised on the Oregon coast, her interests include crafting body care products and herbal medicine, harvesting mushrooms, gardening, brewing herbal mead, fermentation, and exploring wild areas.
    FriendsFriends (35)
    An array of voices from around Mountain Rose Herbs and beyond share their wisdoms, inspirations, and exciting stories from the herbal world.
    AlietaAlieta (29)
    Alieta is our Marketing Assistant! An Oregon native, she studied philosophy, Spanish and graphic design at Portland State University and has a natural affinity for the natural foods industry. She spends her time outside of work playing her 54 key Rhodes piano, hanging out with her cat Penelope, and cooking delicious gluten-free and dairy-free meals to share with friends.
    AlyssaAlyssa (25)
    Alyssa is the Director of Sustainability at Mountain Rose Herbs and an expert social butterfly. When not fluttering between community and non-profit events, she enjoys hiking, gardening, playing with her chickens, and organizing potlucks.
    On the FarmOn the Farm (16)
    Our team of farm representatives travel around the US and the world to visit our organic crops. They bring back stories and photos from their meetings with our farmers and important news about our herbal harvests.
    ShawnShawn (14)
    Shawn is the Vice President at Mountain Rose Herbs, which means he has his hands in just about everything here, but he is most passionate about advancing the company's ecological platforms for sustainable business practices. In his spare time, he can be found deep in Oregon’s designated wilderness areas or fly fishing (strictly catch and release) with his furry friends Abigail and Maggie.
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